THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Divine intervention

By Fred Cavaiani

I watched the last quarter of the Detroit Lions –Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday morning.  They played in England.   It appeared that the Lions would lose. They kicked a field goal in the last seconds that went wide but the play was called back because of a Lions moving infraction.  So they got a chance to kick the field goal over.  This field goal was good.  It was like a Divine Intervention had just happened so the Lions could get it correct and win the game in the closing four seconds.  To find any other explanation for this good luck would be difficult.  Who knows what was the cause for this Delay of Game call which could have been a disastrous call if the first field goal had been good?  I had just returned from a Church where I had presented the Sunday reflection.  I had been talking about the presence of God in each moment of life.  Then I got home and watched this game.  Wow, talk about the Presence of a Divine Power lifting a team to victory.  Who knows if this is real or not but it sure felt like it on this past Sunday morning.

Each of us have had fearful experiences that were about to happen and then didn’t.  It seemed like there was a Divine Intervention?  Have you ever just missed hitting someone while you were driving?  Remember the time you were backing out of your driveway and a car whizzed by and you wonder why you never collided with this car?  Then there was the time you slipped and thought you were going to meet the devil of broken bones and you discovered that you were all right.  Someone close to you had cancer and recovered and you are eternally grateful.   You felt that everything was crushing in on you emotionally and suddenly you felt that all will be well.

Then of course the opposite can happen. We can get into an accident. We do get cancer or break bones.  We find ourselves emotionally empty with little energy.   There are good days and there are bad days in life.  So why even think about any Divine Intervention?  Maybe we are delusional to think that Some Godly Power will rescue us from difficult experiences.

It is in the embrace of the present moment of life that whatever Divine Energy, Intervention or God will meet us and help us to benefit from this experience.  Most difficulties in life result from avoiding the present moment and learning from it.  When we keep in our head and analyze everything instead of experiencing everything we inhibit ourselves from the “Divine Energy or Presence” that comes to us in the present moment.  When we block our grief and pain, we inhibit ourselves.  When we tranquilize ourselves from experiencing life, we don’t experience the joy of life.

Every moment of life brings both pain and joy. In the embrace of pain we make friends with the present moment and become open to a powerful Presence of God.  When we are happy and embrace the happiness with total awareness and gratitude we open up to deeper parts of self.  Unfinished business can surface at these times which we can then feel and allow ourselves to heal.  The old cliché “you can’t heal what you can’t feel” is so very true.

This past week I had the privilege of visiting with my wife’s cousin.  She lives in Wisconsin, is 47, married with two children, 9 and 11.  She has had cancer on and off since she was 23 years old. Now she has cancer in three places in her body. She is presently taking part in a clinical study here in Michigan.  It won’t cure her cancer but it is stopping it from spreading which is now present in her hip, lung and brain.  What a brave and courageous woman.  As I observed her talking with my wife who has had cancer twice, I was mesmerized by these two women who are so alive in the present moment.  Neither woman was complaining that they had cancer.  They were simply embracing the present moment in their sharing, love,  kindness and sensitivity to each other and everyone and everything around them.  At this point I began to realize even more that there is a Divine presence that comes to each of us in each moment of life which helps us to better understand the meaning of life.

We are all going to die someday. But each moment of life is meant to be experienced with awareness and with love.  Our embrace of each moment sends out an energy of care and compassion that makes the world a better place and makes people experience something that seems to be filled with a wonderful, beautiful, Divine Presence.  At least that is what I experienced being with these two wonderful women.

Religion, psychology, and philosophy can often spin profound thoughts which can seem so contradictory.  When we stay in our hearts, everything becomes much simpler. Life is about love and relationships. Life is about  being grateful for everyone and everything. Life is about experiencing life.   The more we embrace life in the present life the more we become aware that we will live forever.  Joy will always be ours. Yes, I mean forever.  But this forever begins now in embracing the pain and joy of the present moment. Every time I have a profound, meaningful and loving conversation with someone I begin to realize that this is an experience of the Divine.  Every time I look at a tree, a blade of grass, a lake, a deer running into the woods, running water,  a meal, I become grateful and realize that there is goodness all around me and within me.  Everything that exists is filled with a Divine Presence in some manner.

For the past ten years I have been starting my psychotherapy sessions with a short quiet meditation.  It has amazed me how people, after becoming quiet for a few minutes are able to reach deep within and discover their own goodness and embrace their own pain. After reflective silence something Divine seems to be experienced and this seems to help a person embrace such profound feelings of both pain and joy.

As the years go on I do believe that there is Divine Intervention in each moment of life. But this Divine Intervention is not for magically winning or losing ball games, bringing us good weather or bad weather, lengthening our lives or shortening our lives,  curing us from  terminal illnesses or dying from terminal illnesses. This Divine Intervention comes to us when we have an open mind and heart to the present moment.  This Powerful Presence of the Divine then give us the strength and wisdom to embrace whatever comes our way with open heart and mind.  It then doesn’t matter what happens to us.  It matters how we embrace what happens to us. Sometimes this total embrace of life can bring us into a better physical health. It can help us make better decisions. It can help us choose better paths.  But whatever happens this Divine Intervention or Presence is always there to give meaning and joy to the present moment of life and help us realize that this present moment will always be with us regardless of where we will be in this life or the next.  I think this present moment is where everything in life comes together. This present moment embraced with open heart and mind brings me into a contact with a Presence that is so peaceful, loving and refreshing that it motivates me to become more quiet and reflectively aware and more caring and compassionate toward everyone and everything.  I just want to be fully alive and peaceful in the embrace of this present moment. It makes sense to me.  If I ever do too much of anything in my life, let it be too much of prayerful, reflective silence and too much of being kind, open and loving to everyone.  In doing ‘too much’ of silence and ‘too much’ of loving I am convinced that I will discover the meaning of life and discover that this continues after death in an even more profound manner with no limitations.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and Psychologist with a private practice in Troy.  He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. Fred serves on the Oakland County Senior Advisory Council. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday.  He can be reached at 248-362-3340.  His e-mail address is: and his website is